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DPS To Announce 7 School Closures

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Outside a Detroit school (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas, File)

Outside a Detroit school (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas, File)

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Students from seven Detroit public schools set to close this summer will attend four new buildings slated to open in the fall.

State-appointed DPS emergency manager Roy Roberts will announce Wednesday the seven schools which will close at the end of the academic year. At the same time, however, four new schools will open.

The new schools were built as part of a $500.5 million voter-approved construction program. Roberts also will name four other schools that now fall under the Detroit Public Schools but will become district-authorized charters in the fall.

The closures are expected to save money as DPS continues to whittle away at a budget deficit the district now projects at $84 million. In December, Roberts said the district was “moving solidly in the right direction.”

“Careful financial planning, sacrifices across the board while maintaining a focus on teaching and learning have paid dividends,” he said. “Amid the district’s financial and budgetary challenges we are determined to educate all students.”

The district has closed 130 school buildings since 2005 due to shrinking enrollment and the poor condition of some of the structures. About 66,000 students were enrolled last fall – a drop of 38,000 since 2007.

Sharlonda Buckman with the Detroit Parent Network said the latest round of school closures is an opportunity for people to look elsewhere.

“As I look at potential schools that are closing, there are some that are persistently on the low-achieving list. So there are opportunities that arise with the school closings that are happening, specifically parents have the power to choose a new school and we’re there to help them make a strong choice,” she said.

Officials have yet to announce which low-performing schools will move next fall into the new Education Achievement System.

Gov. Rick Snyder announced the new system in June. It is eventually expected to serve more than 100,000 students across the state after it expands outside Detroit beginning in the 2013-14 academic year.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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